STC Summit: What We Did Between the Educational Sessions

Attending STC Summit is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and techniques for writing, network with new and familiar faces, gain inspiration from seasoned speakers, and interact with vendors that support our professional development goals. But STC MGL attendees Kelly Smith and Kylie Jacobsen made sure to enjoy all the conference has to offer, especially the social events.


The Summit welcomed three keynote speakers this year.

Andrew Lawless: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals

On Monday, Andrew Lawless, founder of the High Performance Consultant Academy, a Behavioral Scientist and Certified High Performance Coach gave a presentation on how to energize yourself to achieve your goals.

Judith Glick-Smith: Using Flow to Craft a Life of Excellence in Tech Comm

On Tuesday, Dr. Glick-Smith tech comm expert and past president of the STC discussed the concept of Flow as featured in her book Flow-based Leadership: What the Best Firefighters Can Teach You About Leadership and Making Hard Decisions. She related how the concept of flow can help us in our tech comm careers.

Scott Abel: Inclusive Language: Survey Findings and Best Practices for Content Strategy

On Wednesday, Scott Abel, content strategy evangelist, pointed out that inclusion is just being mindful of how we talk about and treat other people. He presented best practices for adopting inclusive language in the workplace. 

Networking events

Every day, the host chapter, STC Atlanta, planned a special outing for STC members. These events required pre-registration, and offered the opportunity to stretch our legs and hang out with new friends.

Illuminarium: After Dark

Unfortunately, neither Kelly nor Kylie could attend the first social event of the conference, but on Sunday evening, attendees were invited to meet up at the Illuminarium. The Illuminarium is an all-encompassing sensory experience which places guests in a room filled with lights, sounds, scents, and even in-floor haptics. STC members were admitted to the After Dark experience, which was described as the daytime experience, but 21+. 

Sky View Ferris Wheel

Several groups walked from the hotel down to the Sky View Ferris Wheel, where for $17 we got a view of the city, Centennial Olympic Park, the World of Coca Cola Museum, and the Georgia Aquarium. We took selfies and pics of the tall buildings and blooming magnolia trees.

Kylie and her first-time attendee buddy, Jodie, at the summit of the Sky View Ferris Wheel.

Dine Around

Kylie volunteered to host a dinner at Big Kahuna, a late-night spot to order surf-themed Mexican food in Downtown Atlanta. A group of 10 people made the short walk from the conference hotel to the restaurant by dodging the rain in the enclosed pathway through Truist Plaza. The best part of the dinner was that Kylie got to carry a sign that read “Big Kahuna” the whole way! 

The long table fit all ten members who went to dinner at Big Kahuna
Kylie with STC members ordering dinner at Big Kahuna

Kelly attended dinner at Gus’s Famous Fried chicken with about 25 people, including our student volunteers. The food was simple and delicious! We ordered appetizers of fried green tomatoes and fried okra, then enjoyed juicy fried chicken with a very subtle kick of spice. 

Georgia Aquarium

After the final keynote, several of us went to the Georgia Aquarium and took the Behind the Seas tour! In addition to viewing the sharks, rays, otters, sea lions, sea turtle, fish, frogs, and other creatures through windows, some of us got to go topside and look down into the 6.2-million-gallon saltwater tank, just a few feet from the giant whale sharks and other creatures. We learned where they came from, how they were rescued, and that if we were daring (and had a few hundred dollars to spare) we could swim or scuba dive with them! We also got to see the trainers working with the beluga whales and learn about the aquarium’s coral restoration project.

The tank view from below deck
Kylie topside of the same tank